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Nov 9, 2013 03:33 PM

What's for dinner #255 The countdown to Turkey Day edition. [Through November 14, 2013]

You wake up in the dark, you return home in the dark. Winter approaches.

Braises, soups and comfort foods are on the menu here on the Sou'west Shore of Long Island Sound.

What's in your plans?

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  1. We celebrated our Canadian Thanksgiving whilst in Croatia last month with a huge steaming copper pot of wild mushroom risotto and superb braised wild boar and grilled polenta. Neither my husband nor I are turkey fans so always opt for something different.

    And winter approached here a week ago with 25 cm of snow and it is snowing again as I type. :( As I posted on the other WFD thread, we are having chicken and dumplings, baked Appalachian beans and roast pears and plums. Nothing fancy pants tonight, just simple warming comfort food. :)

    19 Replies
    1. re: chefathome

      Croatia is very high on my goto list. Your Canadian Thanksgiving (risotto, braised boar, polenta) is right in my wheelhouse. Well done. Your so-called modest supper, too.

      1. re: steve h.

        Croatia is the most spectacular country there is in my opinion. It is absolutely stunning and the food in Istria is becoming more and more renowned. I love that you can go to a local konoba and discover that the chef/owner grows his/her own herbs, makes the own olive oils and wines, forages for wild mushrooms out their back door, uses their own chickens' eggs, raises their own livestock...and cooks with love and passion for their guests. Just go! :)

        1. re: chefathome

          I have a buddy who was raised in NYC, went to school in Michigan, maintains apartments in both London and Hong Kong. He has a few miles under his keel. He loves Croatia.

          That's good enough for me.

          1. re: steve h.

            There you go. You are as good as there!

          2. re: chefathome

            Have to agree with chefathome.
            we were there in 2005, for 2 months, on the Dalmatian Coast.
            Fabulously beautiful area.

            1. re: mariacarmen

              Glad you enjoyed it - it really is stunning, isn't it? Did you have good food? The best area for food in the country is in Istria and it really is diverse and incredible.

              1. re: chefathome

                we stayed part of our time living above a family from whom we rented an apartment, and got to have a few wonderful home-cooked meals. that's where I learned about blitva!

                we also got to attend and participate in the olive harvest with the family, which was an amazingly fun and fulfilling week.

                Yes, of all the places we travelled that year, we felt that, nature-wise, Croatia was the most gorgeous.

                1. re: mariacarmen

                  What a great story! I imagine you had blitva more than once. :)

                  Hopefully you will get to return someday.

                  1. re: chefathome

                    yes, I hope so. we are still in contact with our Croatian friends!

        2. re: chefathome

          Sounds fantastic. How were the Croatian wines?? And your menu sounds right in my wheelhouse also.

          I am thinking to changing my Chow name to "Owt Beef" in honor of the Joe Beef dudes. LOL

          1. re: Owtahear

            The wines are excellent. Several of our Croatian friends are vintners so we have grown very knowledgable about the varieties. We are, in fact, moving there in May so we will have plenty of time to discover even more about them!

            1. re: chefathome

              Chefathome, once you move to Croatia - can Chowhounds come visit you as part of our Croatia itineraries?

              I am hoping for a visit to Puglia,It, and Croatia in the fall of '14....

              1. re: gingershelley

                Yes, yes, yes! Actually, as we are both in our early 40s and retiring young, we are considering doing personalized small group tours (as in two to for people). And we know where the best places to eat are (at least in Istria), the best vineyards, prosciutto, olive oils, wines...

                Puglia would be amazing! We have not been there yet but plan to. From Croatia traveling to other European countries will be soooooo much easier than from Canada. :)

                1. re: chefathome

                  My friend Sly has a cooking school in Lecce - he has been bugging me to get over to visit him, and I have been wanting to go to Croatia for a while on reports from friends - so 2014 is the year.

                  Here is a link to his school; He has been putting up some fun video's on his youtube channel - check it out:


                  I am sure he would be delighted to trade visits with you guys, or he could come over to Croatia (plan on taking the ferry from Brindisi) with me. Will keep an eye out for you around here, Chefathome - and hope to visit you over there' next year!

                  1. re: gingershelley

                    How exciting it would be to meet you both! What a great-looking cooking school. I teach cooking classes here in Alberta but just at community colleges and in homes on a small scale. Will check out the videos, too.

                    Truly, if you come to Croatia we must meet. Don't forget! :-D

                    1. re: gingershelley

                      I want to go to that school! And I wouldn't say no to Croatia either! You're both lucky!

                      1. re: roxlet

                        Maybe you and rbj20 could 'come on down' to Lecce too - I am sure we would have a grand time at Sly's making Orechietti, perhaps putting up tomato sauce or - I am hoping - doing the olive oil 'crush' next October:)!

            2. re: chefathome

              Your Canadian holiday dinner sounds superb!

              1. re: Cherylptw

                Indeed it was. I neglected to mention the excellent wine, too, and dessert that my husband had room for which was a huge slab of fudgey chocolate cake.

            3. This is called the "Weekend the Family is Lucky to Have Me"

              Right the oven.......Roast Local Free Range Chicken with root veggies, Potatoes, Parsnips, Carrots, Shallots and Brussel Sprouts.... It smells fantastic. With a side of Frisee Salad and green beans..

              Tomorrow. Beef Bourginone. From scratch....lots of shrooms and carrots and onions with the beef. Can't wait, will cool down tomorrow.

              Just opened a 2006 Tudor Anderson Valley Pinot Noir.

              Love this time of year.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Owtahear

                Oh wow, Sunday night Bourginone is a fall season dream for me.

              2. Tonight a tagine of local lamb with shallots and dates, over brown basmati.
                It smells wonderful cooking.

                1. I posted at the same time you were opening this thread so I will post here to join this thread. James mom cancelled on dinner so no British pub treats tonight.
                  I got out hamburger to make "something" and James wants Cuban burgers. Grilled burger, mustard, ham, pickles, cheddar cuz its what we have and it is pressed in the panino press. A side of red peppers, onion, chunked tomatoes, badia and garlic powder I a foil packet grilled for five or so minutes and cheese will be added and back on the grill for a few minutes

                  13 Replies
                    1. re: steve h.

                      It came about a few years ago when i couldn't decide between the two so i put them together. It should have Swiss which I thought I had but the two legged "mouse in the house" got at it before I knew it. He has been on vacation and I have no idea what he has depleted. That's okay. Cheddar works in a pinch. At least it isn't velveeta. :-) Not that velveeta doesn't have its place.

                      1. re: steve h.

                        British pub treats sound intriguing!

                        1. re: helen_m

                          It is a pub that has won several times where I live. Lots of great treats like
                          Fish and chips with mushy peas
                          Sarnies and buttys
                          Toad in the hole
                          Bangers and mash
                          Pasty(4 kinds)
                          Beef and guiness pie
                          Sheppard and cottage pie
                          And by far the best Sunday roast with 8 oz prime rib or roast turkey, broccoli, peas,honey roasted parsnips and carrots,, roasted potatoes, Paxo stuffing,yorkshire pudding and Bisto gravy. All for the shocking price of 16 dollars.
                          Lots and lots more.

                          1. re: suzigirl

                            It sounds better than in actual British pubs!

                          1. re: roxlet

                            Thanks. That's high praise from both of you. :-)

                            1. re: suzigirl

                              If you reschedule, order a SnakeyB or Snakebite and see what you get.

                              1. re: grayelf

                                She rescheduled and it was for Bonefish Grill. Oh the horror. So what is a Snakeyb? I must know since I don't see going to the pub soon.

                                  1. re: grayelf

                                    I think irt sounds good until you get to the vomiting part. But i know better than to get that drunk anymore.

                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                      They are good. Obvi not with vomiting :-). My English cuz proudly introduced them when she visited us years ago and we took her to an "English" pub here for fun.

                                      1. re: grayelf

                                        Sounds like I need to right the wrong that was Bonefish Grill instead of a proper pub, with a snakeyb at the pub with my man.

                      2. Tried a new recipe tonight.


                        Now granted, I didn't have quinoa, so I used Israeli couscous as the regular cooking time was the same.

                        Instead of the water in with the pears, I used white wine (and more than 1/4 cup), and added more seasoning of salt, pepper.

                        I used a couple of boneless pork chops that I flattened with the heel of my hand, and once the pears were 3/4 done, I added them back to the pan, splooshed in a bit more wine, and covered so the pork would finish cooking.

                        The wine definitely added some good flavor as it reduced; water would have made it even more boring. Overall, it was meh, even with my changes. Oh well, that's the only way you'll know, right?

                        There was wine for the cook.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          Even with the coriander, cider vinegar green onions, and butternut squash it was dull? It reads like a really tasty recipe.

                          1. re: MidwesternerTT

                            Yeah, surprisingly. My ground coriander is very old, as I don't use it all that often, so perhaps that's part of the issue. I'll be bringing it in to work for lunches mixed with some chopped cooked chicken - I'll add some Aleppo pepper (my standby jazzer-upper) to give it some oomph.